GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: Teaching and Trusting New Helpers
Many blog posts ago, I discussed about the "Yaya" (nanny or maid) as the Filipino wife's appendage. Many Filipino wives have been blessed with helpers or maids to help out in the household chores and with the preparation of the family meals, as well as with taking care of their kids when they're out to work.
Recently, I got a new maid because our "Manang" (or older woman) who had been with me for years had to go home to Bacolod to be with her husband as she has, sort of, "retired" already. And so, to me, this is another grueling task of teaching the new helper how to do the laundry and how to iron our clothes (which are her foremost responsibility), how to do her minor chores, how to answer the telephone, etc. and showing her where things are, aside from warnings about telephone gimmicks of criminal elements like the "dugo-dugo" gang and other gimmicks to fool the maids when the homeowner is out. However, I cannot simply cram all these into her head all at the same time; I gave her the basics first and as we go along from day to day, I try to add more and more. I asked the other maid who had been with me for a long time to also help her out.
Aside from household chores, trust is another concern with a new maid. Yes, we ask other people about her before we hire her and before sending money for her transportation coming to Manila, but I've learned through experience that even maids with references and have come from agencies still cannot be fully trusted. You have a stranger in your house and the new maid is also adjusting to new surroundings and new people to live with. So, in the meantime, my other maid cleans our rooms and puts clothes into our closets. Gradually, the new maid is allowed to accompany her into our rooms and to put newly-ironed clothes into our closets, and later she can do that alone. But the goal is to build that trust so that later on, both of you can become more familiar with one another and even with the entire family. After all, your new maid also needs to build up her trust in you and your family that you will treat her as humanely as possible.
Maids or helpers must be treated as part of the family, because they are. They live with you and their concerns become your concerns. As they do their jobs accordingly, they do it, not because they have to, but because they have "malasakit" (natural concern). Because you have a relationship of trust with them, you do not have to tell them what to do always--they do it voluntarily from their heart.